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Mild Memory Loss is Not a Part of Normal Aging

Getting older, in and of itself, is not the cause of so-called “senior moments”. A new study found that even these mild memory lapses are caused by the same brain lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
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Researchers found that in the last four to five years of life, people’s memory showed a very rapid decline. Pathologic lesions were found to be related to this rapid decline. The preceding years showed a much more gradual decline that was the actual result of normal aging.

According to Newswise:
“… [R]ecognizing that the earliest changes in memory are related to Alzheimer’s pathology can lead to early diagnosis and will be critical information if a treatment is developed that can alter the pathologic course of the disease.”

Resources:
Newswise September 15, 2010
Neurology September 21, 2010; 75(12):1070-8. Epub 2010 Sep 15

Posted By Dr. Mercola | October 07 2010 | 43,083 views

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Soon, a Pill to Help Your Memory

Here’s some good news for students — a memory pill which can help you with revision for exams is being developed by scientists.
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An international team is coming up with the pill which could make memories stick, in a study that will not only help students revising for exams but also patients with dementia or other brain disorders.

In their study, the scientists discovered that fatty foods not only send feelings of fullness to the brain but they also trigger a process that consolidates long term memories. Now, the team, led by California University, hope to develop drugs which mimic the effect of fat and rich foods to boost memory in those suffering from brain disorders or who need to cement the facts in their brain.

In fact, they found that oleic acids from fats are transformed into a compound called oleoylethanolamide (OEA) in the upper region of the small intestine. OEA not only send hunger-curbing messages to the brain but “causes memory consolidation, the process by which superficial, short-term memories are transformed into meaningful, long-term ones”, according to the scientists.

Daniele Piomelli, who led the team, said the pill works by activating memory-enhancing signals in amygdala — the part of the brain involved in the consolidation of memories of the emotional events. “Remembering the location and context of a fatty meal was probably an important survival mechanism for early humans. It makes sense that mammals have this capability.

“OEA is part of the molecular glue that makes memories stick. By helping mammals remember where and when they have eaten a fatty meal, OEA’s memory-enhancing activity seems to have been an important evolutionary tool for early humans and other mammals,” the Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying.

The study found administering OEA to laboratory rodents improved the memory retention in two tests. When cell receptors activated by OEA were blocked, memory retention effects decreased. Piomelli said drugs that mimic OEA are currently in clinical trials.

Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust said the research offered “fascinating” insights into the way we remember. “When thinking about what constitutes a healthy diet, usually what’s good for the heart is also good for the head. Better understanding of how memories are formed could lead to new treatments that help the brain when it becomes affected by Alzheimer’s.”

You may click to see:->Memory MHz Benchmark Impact

Sources: The Times Of India

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Why You are More Creative After You Sleep

sleep, sleeping, insomnia, creative, creativity, problem solving, resolutions, nappingMost people think of the sleeping brain as similar to a computer that has “gone to sleep” — they believe that it does nothing productive. But this is incorrect. Sleep enhances performance, learning and memory. And most unappreciated of all, sleep improves the creative ability to uncover novel connections among seemingly unrelated ideas.

Some large companies provide EnergyPods, leather recliners with hoods to block noise and light, to help employees take naps and return to work refreshed.

.Sleep assists the brain in flagging unrelated ideas and memories, forging connections among them that increase the odds that a creative idea or insight will surface. After sleep, people are 33 percent more likely to infer connections among distantly related ideas.

Business attitudes toward sleep may be starting to shift.

Claire Stapleton, a spokeswoman for Google, says “grassroots” interest in sleep led to an on-campus talk by Sara C. Mednick, a napping expert. Google also installed EnergyPods, leather recliners with egglike hoods that block noise and light, that allow employees to take naps at work. Other companies that have installed EnergyPods include Cisco Systems and Procter & Gamble.

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